NSW Police are warning that a Facebook post shared almost 10,000 times that claims criminals around Australia are placing GPS trackers on cars at shopping centres and later ransacking their owner's home is a hoax.
The post, shared by Rodney Olsen, who says on his Facebook profile he is from from Petrie in Queensland, has attracted more than 9640 shares since it was uploaded as a public photo on December 6 via his mobile phone.
The hoax letter, which purports to be signed by NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione and carries a police logo, tells of criminals approaching a lady at a shopping centre, asking for the time, and then placing a GPS device on her car without her knowledge. It goes on to say "two hooded men" later raped the woman and ransacked her home and warns people to check their vehicles if approached at a shopping centre under similar circumstances.
It also says people in Brisbane, on the Gold Coast and in Melbourne have been subject to similar incidents involving GPS tracking devices and is accompanied by a caption written by Mr Olsen that reads: "Please share with all your female friends!".
But NSW Police say the letter is a hoax "designed to create unnecessary fear in our community".
"The incident reported is, to the best knowledge of NSW Police, entirely fictitious and the Police Commissioner has not penned any warning message," NSW Police said. "The signature is not his."
"NSW Police urges social media users not to share the hoax document."
NSW Police added that serious crime was normally the subject of a mainstream media release as well as a social media posting on its Facebook Page.
Comment has been sought from Rodney Olsen via Facebook.
In NSW, a person who impersonates a police officer is guilty of an offence that can result in imprisonment for two years.